Winning a scholarship is not easy. Regardless of the type of scholarship you are applying for, you are sure to be up against some stiff competition. Scholarships are the single best way to get some free money for college and every opportunity out there attracts hundreds if not thousands of applications. So what exactly are the qualities that help scholarship winners stand out from the competition?
Here are five qualities that scholarship winners possess, and scholarship sponsors look for and pay attention to during the application process.
They Have Conducted Their Research on the Scholarship Sponsor
Scholarship winners are certain to have done some research on the sponsor. This is especially true for scholarships pertaining to majors such as education, science, and certain sectors of the arts.
If the sponsor of the scholarship is being done in memory of someone, it is always a good idea to know who this person was and why this scholarship is so important to that person’s legacy.
They Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses Yet Still Exude Confidence
One of the best ways to communicate your strengths and weaknesses, especially when applying for an academic scholarship, is to exhibit good written and oral communication skills. Some students don’t want to sound if they are tooting their own horn and they go out of their way to downplay their accomplishments. This could be a mistake.
Scholarship committees want to know what your strengths are, and they want you to express it the best way you know how. This is especially true for those seeking scholarships in creative fields such as art, music, and graphic design, in which a portfolio showcasing your best work can be accompanied by an equally excellent essay. A scholarship application is not the place to be humble. In fact, this is the place to let your best work shine.
They Demonstrate Leadership and Communication Skills
Scholarship committees are looking for people who can communicate effectively and who showcase their leadership potential. Leaders are not only confident in their own abilities, but they know how to work as part of a team as well. They also know how to express their ideas confidently.
Scholarship committees will closely examine your activities and accomplishments to determine your communication, leadership, and team-working skills.
They Demonstrate Passion
The best grades in the world won’t help a scholarship candidate if they aren’t passionate about the scholarship they are applying for. Scholarship committees are attracted to someone who not only exudes confidence, but who also exudes passion for what the scholarship offers. They assume the candidate wants to become the best in their field, otherwise, why bother applying for the scholarship?
Make sure you express your passion for the scholarship field in your essay, and then again in the scholarship interview itself.
They Are Focused
Applicants who are focused on their short and long term goals are more likely to win a scholarship. Organizations tend to sponsor students who are not easily distracted. A well-written application that is concise, focused, and not rambling is the best way to show that you are focused on your academic and career goals.